Apr 15, 2015 News
…to deal with possible elections disturbances
With the help of local construction and quarrying giant BK International, the
local security forces have strengthened another weak area in their armour, especially when it comes to dealing with elections- related obstructions.
Nineteen ranks from the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force yesterday received certification as heavy duty equipment operators, after two weeks of rigorous training at the BK Quarries at Teperu.
With the training, the security forces will not have to rely on reluctant civilians to clear obstacles that are usually associated with post-elections disturbances. In addition, the certified ranks walked away with skills that could prove beneficial should they seek other avenues of employment.
The ranks received training in the operation of bulldozers, front end loaders, excavators and draglines.
Speaking at a simple ceremony in the Boardroom of the BK International on Water Street yesterday, Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud said that from a Joint Services perspective, the training was done with one main objective in mind. According to Persaud, in addressing the security arrangements for the upcoming elections, training has been a major part of preparation.
He pointed out that in the past whenever there were public order incidents, citizens would usually block public carriageways with heavy objects and this necessitates the use of heavy duty equipment.
“One of the difficulties we had in the past was to find heavy duty equipment to remove them (heavy objects) and when we do find those equipment, we have to find operators that are willing to take the risks associated with operating among protestors who are not necessarily calm and orderly as you are, and so that fear causes them to not to come forward,” the Commissioner explained.
He said that the training has put the Force in a state of readiness for this year’s elections, and if necessary, future incidents of similar nature.
Even if the ranks who underwent the training should leave the agencies they are currently serving, there are plans to make similar training a regular feature of BK International on a yearly basis.
This is among the recommendations made by one of the course participants, who also urged that those who were trained be seconded to other government agencies to work on development contracts, whenever the need arises, instead of having them languishing with the acquired skills.
Outlining the genesis of the training programme, BK International Public Relations Consultant Alex Graham explained that the company recognized that in addition to producing aggregates at its Essequibo river quarry, it could develop and implement training progammes and apprenticeship schemes in disciplines related to heavy duty machinery, among others.
“Our installations at the quarry allow us to accommodate the staff compliment required for our operation at full capacity as well as to accommodate apprentices and students on training programmes and work study assignments. The successful participants today are a testimony to those efforts,” Graham said.
The initiative taken by the company was praised by Clinton Williams the chairman of the board of industrial training, which has over the years been organizing various training schemes.
According to Williams, as long as the Board of Industrial Training exists, it will continue to work with entities like BK international to ensure that Guyana gets the required skills necessary for its development.
“I want to say that the BK Group has stood out. They’re a very important and critical part of this process…because without these facilitators, the programmes will go to zero. Where is the practice? Who will employ you thereafter? Let me say that we believe this should serve not only the purpose of ensuring that we remove the barrications, at times when needed … but there will be requirements for this type of skill,” Williams stated.
He said that since the participants of the recent heavy duty equipment training programme are in the forefront of ensuring the nation’s security, they will be able to utilize the skills in times of civil emergencies as well.
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